Both Maggie Prescott in 1957’s Funny Face
and the hilariously ridiculous Miss Maxwell in William Klein’s Qui êtes vous, Polly Maggoo?
were inspired by Diana Vreeland
Who is Diana Vreeland?
I didn’t really know, but I did hear how she had once famously said,
“There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself.”
So in an attempt to shake off my stir craziness and avoid the midtown traffic gridlock (due to Hurricane Sandy the other day) I walked 40 blocks to find out who said such poignant words.
Diana Vreeland was a fashion editor and is now known as one of the most influential and eccentric figures of the 20th century, a woman whose influence changed the face of fashion, beauty, art and even publishing. Ms. Vreeland is a woman who is worthy of being on what would be the modern day equivalent of Forbes Most Influential Women list. She spoke in an effortless stream of epigrams (hence why she is so quotable) and her life was devoted to the infectious, inspiring and all-encompassing idea that you could make yourself as interesting and fabulous as you wanted.
Why be boring?
Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel, was an incredible visual journey of her life and the people she knew and influenced, from anyone from Coco Chanel (yes THE Coco Chanel) Andy Warhol, Jacqueline Kennedy, Veruschka, Jack Nicholson to Diane Von Furstenburg (and that’s just a partial list).
Instead of spoiling the documentary film for you, I will let the photos and quotes as said by her (or by others about her) speak for themselves.
“She saw things in people before they saw it themselves”
She knew to “Give ’em what they never knew they wanted.”
She believed “when you’re young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings. Then one day you get out where the sun shines and the rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.”
and that “A new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.”
She also believed “There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.”
because she realized “if [she] was going to make it, [she] would need to stand out”
Whether she realized it or not, she was onto what we regard as marketing and the fashion industry as we know it today. She is also a woman who arguably, would thrive in both business and life by today’s standards of innovation and success, as she was propelled by such a unique vision.
Diana Vreeland had a certain strength of character, inexhaustible passion for life, energizing exuberance, and inimitable personality that transcended the world of fashion and made her unforgettable (and anything but boring) in business and life.
Because of that I am reminded and inspired by her.
So ‘Why Don’t You…” watch the trailer (which does not do the documentary justice) click here or the image below.
Oh by the way, walking those 40 blocks was totally worth it. The eye has to travel, right? 😉
For further inspiration and perusal, see http://dianavreeland.com/
Subscribe to your right to get updates whenever I post. In the meantime, follow me on
- Say what you need to say- comment, like, share.